We've seen a lot of research pointing to how effectively video helps increase conversion, sales and revenue for online retailers. But just how well are the online retailers doing from a search engine optimization viewpoint for that same video? Not well according to some recent research and that spells opportunity.

The Opportunity For E-Commerce Video SEO

A recent report, "State of Video in E-Commerce" by SundaySky, found that almost none are doing video SEO so as to obtain a video presence in the search engines. In fact, a meager 12% of the top 50 retailers, or six of them, have more than 100 videos indexed by Google. Expanding on that research they found that looking at the top 200, only 4%, or eight, leading online retailers have more than 100 videos indexed by Google.

Less than 10 percent of them manage to get even 10 videos indexed at Google. Abysmal numbers when you think about how much traffic search engines should be and are generating for those online retailers, many of which report 30% or more of total traffic coming from them. A staggering 52% of the top 50 have no video indexed by Google.

On the opposite side of the spectrum you have places like Amazon and Overstock that are doing amazingly well at getting their video content indexed. Having just struggled to get the 1,200 videos at GDN indexed I can appreciate how difficult it is as video sitemaps are, at times, a multi-headed beast that must be wrestled into submission (pun intended?). In fact, they are so complex at times that ReelSEO and Google are working on putting together a webinar to help you all do just that (more on that in the coming weeks).

All of those numbers above are even more shocking when you find out that 24% of those online retailers have more than 1,000 videos on their sites and another 16% have over 100. How can so many companies say that 30% of their traffic comes from search engines but then have less than 10% of their online video, which they are using to drive sales, indexed by Google? It certainly looks like there's a large opportunity being missed by many online retailers.

How Important is Video SEO

Forrester Research did a study last year and found that a page with video is 50 times more likely to show up on the first Google search engine results page (SERP). Since Google went to universal search results, video could likely be even more important moving forward as video becomes more and more dominant on the Internet.

Pages with video have a larger presence on the SERP as well since they will have a video thumbnail and information about the video. Larger presence plus thumbnail = eye-drawing content = better chance of getting a clickthrough. This is what we have been talking about at ReelSEO for years now. Proper video SEO gives you more space on the SERPs as well as more interesting links which should generally translate into more clicks, traffic, conversions, revenue.

How Easy it is to Top the SERPs

So you think you can't compete with other e-Commerce sites for front page results on Google with your video? It seems that the report supports that because 52% of the top 50 retailers have no video indexed at Google, as I mentioned earlier. Another 24% have 10 or less and 12% have less than 100.

Now, if you've got 100 videos on your site, do proper video SEO and make a proper video sitemap, you should then be able to get those pages ranking higher and see some improvements in your search engine traffic generation, provided you have good content and have done standard SEO as well to get your Pagerank into a good position. Only 8% of the online retailers they looked at have more than 1,000 videos indexed and those include Amazon (67,000 indexed) and Overstock (56,000), after that it drops dramatically to under 5,000 for Sony (1,362) and Apple (2,718) combined. In fact, Netflix only had 84 indexed according to the report. EIGHTY-FOUR for one of the largest video-centric e-Commerce sites on the web. I have more than they do.

All Roads (Don't) Lead to Google

The report also talked about the differences between the SERPs and that some sites have loads of videos indexed at one search engine, say Google, but then almost none of Bing and Yahoo. Newegg, they said, has 4,000 videos, 3,900+ indexed at Yahoo, less than 30 at Google and Bing together. Remember, 88% of online retailers have less than 100 videos indexed there.

Bing shows 48% of online retailers with no videos in their index while another 22% have less than 10 and an additional 18% have less than 100. So that is 88% of online retailers with less than 100 videos in the Bing index.

Yahoo! on the other hand shows that 30% have none, an additional 38% have less than 10 and a further 12% have less than 100. So that's a total of 80% that have less than 100 videos indexed in their engine.

So if you are an online retailer and you think that video SEO isn't worth the time, then you're dead wrong. If you get even 100 or 200 videos indexed by the big three you could see marked improvement in traffic generation. You'll certainly see an improvement in your SERP placement on those particular pages.

How to Get Started with Video SEO

There are various ways to get started with video SEO to start seeing fast results. A couple hours of programming last week netted me over 900 videos indexed for GDN. After some troubleshooting I fully expect that I will have all 1,200 videos indexed, within the next couple weeks. ReelSEO is obviously a major resource when it comes to getting those videos indexed, we have a range of how-to's, lists of resources and loads of technical information. We also have a complete guide for website video seo that you use to get up to speed.  Plus, periodic webinars help you get the best out of your video SEO as well as keep you up-to-date on all the latest trends like HTML5 and more.

You can download the full report from SundaySky here.